Friday, May 8
Dialogue: Last Year at Marienbad
Snippets of a conversation on movies with Dodo Dayao, my cinema guru, which turned into casual musings over L'Année dernière à Marienbad, a French film directed by Alain Resnais.
T: Mon-Rak Transistor got sadder after each song. Pen-Ek is a genius.
Recent viewing of WKW's Happy Together, that Tony Leung sobbing into the tape recorder bit, smoke got in my eyes.
And speaking of WKW, I just saw Last Year at Marienbad yesterday. The first hour reminded me of Chungking Express.
D: Resnais is great, him and Antonioni are probably WKW's most pervasive influences. Marienbad is just beautiful and I agree with the Chungking parallels. Hiroshima Mon Amour, meanwhile, is the germ that fed In the Mood for Love. That one's a must, too. Moreso than Marienbad , if you ask me. You can feel Resnais' presence all throughout Eternal Sunshine, too....
T: Thanks, Do. Was postponing Hiroshima Mon Amour for next week but it looks like I'll watch it this weekend. Perfect din kasi I'm recently obsessing over Marguerite Duras. Romance novels for rainy nights.
D: Been meaning to check out Duras after watching Hiroshima pero never got around to it , I should go do so . . .and maybe give Hiroshima and Marienbad a spin, its been awhile and I haven't written anything about them . . .of course, I haven't written anything about any movies I've seen for a looong while.
T: Duras' books are getting the new edition treatment, I saw a copy of The North China Lover in Fully Booked. Loved the writing in Marienbad, repetitive, verse, chorus, verse. Napaka-sonorous kahit yung English translation. And I hear the script of Hiroshima is even better!
D: Will go check out The North China Lover sa Fully Booked. The Marienbad script was pretty controversial when it came out and it's still very polarizing among film critics, to this day. Pero tama, I think the Hiroshima script is more poignant and emotive. As for Resnais, I'm hunting for his Je t'aime Je t'aime, a time travel story that's the possible inspiration for Eternal Sunshine.
T: Haven't properly read up on Marienbad. Really? I quite loved the structure. It's like your prisoner metaphor, going around in circles in his cell until he discovers escape. Solipsism that sings.
And the house is like Chungking Mansion in Chungking Express---the walls move, the rooms remain silent because they choose to, like Tony Leung's apartment (and towels) crying. Ganda ng anthropomorphism nya.
But Marienbad does require a particular mood from its viewer. And patience. :D
D: Marienbad does require a certain degree of immersion - - - but not more or less than the immersion Tsai Ming Liang requires, I think - - - but it's a mindfuck all the same. It's also one of those canon films that are ultimately more interesting than the rest because it constantly gets argued over. I have a professor who fell in love with it after... watching it the first time . . .without subtitles. And no, he doesn't speak French.
I like that - - solipsism that sings. And that prisoner metaphor is actually in full effect right now in my life. . .ika nga, live!